Play-to-Earn: Should serious game studios build with Web3 technology today? Mirai Labs CEO Corey Wilton said the future of Web3 gaming lies in Web2 technology.
This may sound like an odd question, especially from someone who is committed so much in the Play-to-Earn (P2E) space . However, if we Web3 builders want to create the best P2E games, we need to use the best resources we have on hand. Frankly, many of these resources come from Web2 gaming technology.
Therefore, in order to create the best gaming experience for users, Web3 game builders need to build everything possible with Web2 technology and integrate blockchain only when necessary. That’s it.
Play-to-Earn: When Do We Really Need Blockchain?
At the end of the day, the technology used to build blockchain-based games is at least a decade behind traditional gaming technology. Those of us building and participating in the P2E ecosystem decided to make this tradeoff in the name of decentralized ownership.
But for Web3 games, is it really worth it to trade this outdated mechanism for a blockchain-based solution?
not worth it. In fact, many practical things — payments, onboarding, and other gameplay elements — are much smoother without blockchain. Nonetheless, in some cases, blockchain is the right tool for the job. So where is the real best solution for blockchain technology?
Which came first: problem or solution?
Many developers and analysts have pointed out that blockchain may add a layer of interoperability to in-game items and currencies. It allows them to port from one game to another. However, the infrastructure to support this type of inter-game interoperability will not exist for some time to come. This is true even for games created by the same studio. So while interoperability is possible, it’s impractical — at least not in the short term.
However, one of the things that blockchain could be effective today is ownership. Because blockchains are both decentralized and immutable, they can be used to create a secure record of ownership for any in-game item, currency or other type of asset, including user data.
But it’s important to note that in-game ownership is possible without a blockchain, and in many cases the end user may not know or care about the difference between on and off Chain ownership. In these cases, in-game ownership is not an issue that needs to be addressed. So for certain types of ownership, the application of blockchain can’t really be called a solution — in fact, it might even be a hindrance.
Still, more and more of these “solutions” have been created for ownership and other purposes. When the market bubbles up, thousands of companies start building more and more products, making “problems” that their products can solve.
Eventually, this leads to too many services that will become obsolete in the long run. And because these are only temporary fixes to ongoing problems, it’s not a good idea to build with them today.
Play and Earn: Optimizing Blockchain
So the blockchain problem for P2E is two-fold: blockchain is often overused, and when it should be, the solution that is probably the easiest to apply doesn’t last into the future in the short term.
This is why P2E game developers should use Web2 technology as much as possible – only where and where necessary.
When blockchain is truly the best solution, Web3 builders need to focus on building systems that will last long. These are Layer 1 (L1) blockchains and Layer 2 (L2) solutions with strong ecosystems and core development teams.
The truth is that while these L1s and L2s cannot currently support the same type of complex gaming ecosystem as Web2 gaming today, it is likely that they will one day.
Many L1 and L2 builders are working hard to create a world where blockchains will behave like Amazon Web Services today – a powerful, flexible underlying fabric that can support an unlimited number of application. And when that day comes, Web2 technologies that support powerful P2E games will be easily ported to Web3.
When we look at the P2E ecosystem 99% of companies building in today’s market will not exist within two years. Who will persevere? This will be studios focusing their resources on creating games with proven design mechanics. These games encourage in-app consumption and generate long-term sustainable income.
Currently, these games are likely to exist completely off-chain and only have a tangential relationship with the blockchain. For example, assets from off-chain games can be “exported” to an on-chain state, where they can be traded on external markets. Once users complete the on-chain service, they can “import” their assets back into the game.
The future of Web3 gaming, at least for now, is in Web2. While many Web3 games are short-lived, many more Web2 game ecosystems and communities have flourished over the years. After all, many Web2 games are technically more advanced, friendlier, and more fun than their Web3 counterparts.
So if we want to create a P2E gaming ecosystem that attracts more users and builders, and continues to thrive in the future, we need to learn from the Web2 playbook. Game starts.
About the author
Corey Wilton is the CEO of Mirai Labs, the game studio behind P2E game Pegaxy.io.
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